In another example of how gaming consoles are becoming an increasingly important platform for delivering content into the home, Microsoft Corp. and News Corporation announced plans to launch a series of new apps for Xbox LIVE that will feature content from News Corp.'s broadcast, news and Web properties.
Microsoft's Xbox gaming platform has been adding extensive content in recent months and this agreement will significantly expand those offerings. The apps will incorporate content -- as well as voice- and motion-activated controls using Kinect for Xbox 360 -- from Fox, Fox News Channel, IGN Entertainment Inc. and The Wall Street Journal.
Some of the apps will be made available as part of larger TV Everywhere deals. Video content from the Fox News Channel and Fox apps will be made available to authenticated subscribers of participating cable and satellite television distributors.
No deals were initially announced, but News Corp. noted that it expects to announce authentication agreements for Fox and Fox News apps in the near future.
"As we continue to find new ways to deliver content to consumers, this partnership with Xbox LIVE enables our viewers to experience News Corp.'s leading media brands in an entirely new and innovative environment," said Jon Miller, chief digital officer, News Corp. in a statement. "We look forward to working closely with Microsoft to continue evolving the media experiences on Xbox LIVE and to enable consumers to take advantage of this incredibly popular and fast-growing platform."
All the News Corp. apps will be available to Xbox LIVE Gold members and are slated to launch in 2012.
"This new partnership with News Corp., which will bring Fox, Fox News, IGN and The Wall Street Journal to the Xbox LIVE service, is a significant milestone in our vision to bring consumers the entertainment they love, shared with the people they care about, made easy," said Alex Garden, general manager, Xbox LIVE said in a statement. "With these new properties on Xbox, you'll have great on-demand TV options, and using the magic of Kinect, you'll be able to find the entertainment you want by simply using your voice -- whether it's news and headlines from Fox News and The Wall Street Journal or your favorite FOX shows, like Family Guy and Glee."
The Fox Broadcasting app will give authenticated subscribers access to Fox's popular primetime shows. This will include short- and long-form programming on demand for such shows as Glee, House, New Girl, Bones, Fringe, The Simpsons, Family Guy and others.
The app will also include a number of interactive features, such as Facebook integration, as well as voice and motion control via Kinect.
The Fox News Channel app will offer Xbox users access to hundreds news and entertainment videos. The app will also include voice commands and allow navigation with a controller and simple gestures.
WSJ Live from The Wall Street Journal will offer up to four total hours of live video programming each business day from the The Wall Street Journal Digital Network, which includes the Journal, Dow Jones Newswires, Barron's, MarketWatch, SmartMoney and AllThingsD.com.
Users will be able to access seven half-hour live shows, breaking news updates, interviews and special events coverage. The service will also offer more than 2,000 videos per month from an extensive library of on-demand content.
The IGN Entertainment app will offer extensive content on the gaming world, including previews, reviews, gameplay videos and live streams and other content.